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Area household income ranks among state's top

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
You may have to pay $1 million or more to buy a home in Beverly Hills, Calif., but the average Madison household earns only $7,000 less than those who live in the famous California city of 33,000 residents and are among the wealthiest in Alabama.
Following the 2000 Census, information recently collected by Bob Atallo, director of the Community Development Department in Madison, shows the median household income in Madison a year and a half ago was $63,849. The median household income in Beverly Hills was $70,945. The average priced home in Madison is $141,300 and the average priced home in Beverly Hills is $1 million.
"I just put this information together based on newly released 2000 Census data and it is very interesting," Atallo said. "I was curious about where Madison stood in comparison to some other cities across the country. Once I saw the results, I had to share them."
Across the state, only those who live in the Birmingham suburbs of Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills had a higher median household income level than Madison did – followed closely by the Birmingham suburb of Hoover, with a median household income of $61,982.
The median household income in Mountain Brook in 2000 was $100,483 with the median household income in Vestavia Hills at $70,623.
"Retailers who have not yet discovered Madison will see that we have a very attractive market and we use this type of information for planning and revenue projections as well," Atallo said. "I was able to go back to 1990 and found out that the median household income in Madison 12 years ago was $51,839.
In Huntsville, the median household in 2000 was $41,074. In Decatur, the median household income in 2000 was $37,192.
Information obtained by Atallo also showed that 58 percent of the population in Madison, Alabama's 13th largest city, has at least one college degree, 17 percent had advanced or professional degrees, 57 percent were classified as "management, professional and related occupations."
"I would definitely say that a high percentage of our residents hold high-level, high-paying jobs – then and now," Atallo said.
Here are the income levels of other selected cities in Alabama and across the country obtained by Atallo.
Athens: $33,980; Alabama (state): $30,790; Boca Raton, Fla.: $60,248; Palm Beach County, Fla.: $45,062; Raleigh – Durham, N.C. (Metropolitan Statistical Area): $48,845.

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